To make either 36 or 72, you will need . . . an oven pre-heaated to 215c / 450f 500gm sausage mince (blend of beef, pork & lamb) 1 250gm pkt of seasoned stuffing mix 1/4 cup of grated cheese 3 tbs black ground pepper 2 eggs 6 sheets frozen puff pastry milk for brushing sesame seeds to garnish now . . . Thaw the pastry (of course!) Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, blending after adding each ingredient, in this order: eggs stuffing mix pepper cheese sausage mince Divide into either 6 or 12 equal parts, depending on how large you want them or how far you want them to go, and roll the segments in your hand until they are the width of the pastry. (If you are making 72 / 6doz, then divide each pastry sheet into 2 equal rectangular parts – making 12) Brush the edges of the pastry with milk and after placing the formed sausage on the pastry, roll them tightly, pressing them down with the edge underneath, and gently flattening them. At this point, brush the roll with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut the roll into 6 equal portions (or less if you like them bigger) – repeat for all the other rolls. Place on grease-proof paper in a tray, and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown on top. A great snack with some tomato sauce!! c
Choose your song, pick your key – MAKE SURE IT’S THE RIGHT ONE!It is hard to deny, but the songs in today’s church have brought to the creative team an interesting development and challenge. The songs are powerful, they are breathing life to the House on a Sunday service, and extending beyond that onto our iPods, iTunes, Spotify, the car CD player – you name it, we’re listening to it – in our personal as well as our corporate space. But a challenge has presented itself to the creative team of the House – many of the songs in their original key do not translate to the gathered church, and a lot of the time it can go from being a unifed sound to a spectator event. Eeeech! Now, I could provide you with all the ‘clinical’ answers for male and female keys and ranges, but a lot of the current songs on our playlists don’t really fit into that model. Without a doubt, there are incredible anthems proclaiming the life, love and works of God coming from the hearts of songwriters who are passionate about calling home the lost to Christ. And the songs, when we sing them, connect us to avenues of fresh revelation of the love our Father has for us. There tends to be two strains here that I would like to examine; (I am certain there are more, and I am eager to discover them on my journey) – the first strain is the ‘personal worship’; that place where we do our one-on-one daily moments with God, the secret place that only He knows, and He tends to us in such a way a parent can, sometimes with guidance, sometimes with understanding but always with love. The songs we listen to help us connect in this fashion, and once again, the iPod or car CD player comes in handy to assist us. The second strain is our ‘corporate worship’, and this is where I would like to spend a little time… As stewards and leaders of worship, we need to have a sensitivity and understanding of what our purpose is on the platform to convey the message of Christ through song. This extends to the song choices we make. Here’s a thought – imagine this…. The service kicks off, pre-roll video closes out and the band hits the chord! We are into the first song, and the congregation is engaging, and the music builds and grows. And then it happens…. The worship ‘leader’ lifts the song up an octave, heading into the musical land of ‘unobtainable’ by the average singer. No one can sing like that! So, the result is everyone stands there watching. There is no longer any active participation – it has become the observance of a performance. And then there is the added issue of those who really want to sing and join in are completely and utterly thrown off! Now, this is a bold step to take in talking about this, and although the song may have a strong message, the result is the following: Don’t they see that 75 percent of the people in the church just stopped singing? Don’t they see some people trying to follow them, hearing their voices crack, and then giving up? Most of the congregation just stand there feeling awkward until the pitch drops back down and they can join in again…. It’s important to consider, if no one is following you, then you are probably not leading…. My encouragement to you is this: Remember that on the platform, we are there to connect the congregation of the gathered church to the Father, through the praise and song of His glorious love and works. Be certain that the songs are in keys that are suitable for the congregation, so that ONE voice is heard in the House, and our AUDIENCE OF ONE hears the praises of His people. It may be that the song is not necessarily in your key, but in the primary essence of your role, you are a LEADER, there to LEAD the congregation. There is a team with you to lead ALONGSIDE you, so if the song is in a ‘girl’ key, then let a ‘girl’ sing it; if it’s in a ‘guy’ key, then…. You get it….. And of course, the land of the ‘co-lead’ (guy and girl) is making it’s mark strongly in the sound of songs encompassing our lives today. A heavy topic, with many points of view. My thoughts on this are more to promote questions rather than provide an avenue of practical application. Please as always, hear my heart in wanting to bring the best for His Kingdom. Blessings c
Almost weekly, I am asked what the process is for getting ready to honour the platform on a Sunday. In fact, to be a little more to the point, I am asked “how do you learn your stuff for Church?” You know, one of the most important things I do in preparing for Sunday is PLANNING!! I have a relatively full life, working all the time doing television work, sheet music typesetting, lecturing, coaching….. it would be easy for me to turn up to a mid week rehearsal or a service soundcheck and not have prepared adequately for it. But knowing what it is I am geared and wired to do for the Kingdom, an amazing and incredible thing happens that lays the foundation for everything that I do in my journey with Christ – I MAKE A CHOICE! Now, I am wanting to encourage you all, not condemn you – as the Bible says, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” and it is this first and firm realization that grounds you for life, as well as the work that you do in your 24/7 here on earth, gearing all that you live and breathe in Him for your ministry on the platform on a Sunday. (Hope you get what I mean . . . ) In planning for your contribution with the worship team on a Sunday, here are a few tips that may help you: 1.Have your songlist / setlist in front you, and all the resources that accompany that – this would include an audio recording of the song, lyrics, and a song sheet that can have either notation or chords. 2.Have information from your team leader / worship pastor / music director as to any changes in the arrangement of songs – different keys, altered forms, any additional elements (tags of other songs etc.) 3.Work on your songs in sections, getting every element of each part of the song concreted in your mind. It doesn’t really help you or the team if you glaze over the bits that need the most work – you can be guaranteed the part you may be smoothing over is a vital bit for the song (the song writer intends for those things to be earmarked!) 4.MUSICIANS – be sure to be listening to the song for what the other instruments are doing, so that what you bring complements and strengthens the musical conversation that is being brought. 5.SINGERS – learn ALL your lyrics and harmonies! All to often it is left to the ‘Worship Leader’ to carry the weight of bringing the words of the song. Please remember that WE ALL are LEADERS OF WORSHIP – we carry the load together, we go forward together, and sometimes we all trip over together….. 6.PRACTICE your songs before coming to the REHEARSAL – if you are unsure of the difference it is this: PRACTICE is what you do on your own, where you sharpen your gift and refine your work in preparation for the service, looking in detail at the songs you are pareparing. REHEARSAL is the culmination of everybody’s PRACTICE, so that what has been prepared at home is brought to the ‘table’ and everything is put together, like a well prepared meal! 7.An important thing to remember is that what you have invested into your preparation will primarily be what can be produced or returned – to make it easier – you reap what you sow….. let’s always be sure to prepare the soil well for the seed, so that it can grow, and the harvest can be reaped and His Kingdom extended. I trust that you hear my heart in these thoughts – as always I am passionate about bringing the finest to my Saviour, and I pray that you are encouraged to lean in and dig deep for the treasures that are waiting for you in your walk with Him. Blessings c
The role of the Music Director can be traced to bible history times with specific reference to the time David became king of Israel. Even though this particular ‘portfolio’ had been around for a very long time, it wasn’t until David became king that it gained prominence in the everyday life of God’s people. A full study of the reforms that took place under David’s leadership (1st Chronicles) can attest to the emphasis that he placed on temple worship music. These reforms brought to the front music personalities like Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun, who became key leaders and Music Directors with varying responsibilities. The dynamics involved in the role of Music Director become evident based on the environment of its performance. In David’s time he, the king, was the chief musician while others functioned under him (1st Chronicles 25:1-8). The Musicians for Worship 1 Chron 25:1-8 Next David and the worship leaders selected some from the family of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun for special service in preaching and music. Here is the roster of names and assignments: From the family of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah; they were supervised by Asaph, who spoke for God backed up by the king’s authority. From the family of Jeduthun there were six sons: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah; they were supervised by their father Jeduthun, who preached and accompanied himself with the zither—he was responsible for leading the thanks and praise to God. From the family of Heman there was Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shubael, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-Ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. These were the sons of Heman, who was the king’s seer; they supported and assisted him in his divinely appointed work. God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. Under their father’s supervision they were in charge of leading the singing and providing musical accompaniment in the work of worship in the sanctuary of God. They were well-trained in the sacred music, all of them masters. They drew names at random to see who would do what. Nobody, whether young or old, teacher or student, was given preference or advantage over another. This was so because apart from his royal responsibilities and calling, David had been raised and anointed of God for the office of the prophetic through music. By this we learn that it was not the fact that he was king that gave him right to be chief musician but rather a divine calling of God upon his life. When you look at the other kings of Israel beginning with Saul, we do not see any of them stepping into that Music Director role as David did. So . . . . WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME…. (MISCONCEPTIONS) The music director: -Is appointed to teach songs like a choir master. -Must be the most talented musician. -Must be the longest serving member in the team. -Must be the most prayerful member in the team. -Must be the most loyally serving and committed member. -Must be the one in the team with bible school experience. -Must be an associate Pastor or on the church Pastoral team -Must be the most friendly member with good relational skills. WHAT I LOOK TO THE TEAM FOR… •Know the songs •Keep an eye on the MD & WL for direction •PRACTICE (different to REHEARSAL) •Bring ideas for ‘fleshing’ out the song – bring the better… •Come prepared to work! •PLEASE be on time! THINGS THAT WILL HELP YOU AS A MUSIC DIRECTOR •3 second rule – keep an eye out for the next moment… •anticipate what may be coming next •know the songs – REALLY KNOW THEM! •talk through with the Worship Leader ideas and transitions •have a few tips ready for flavouring up the song •make your signals clear – for ALL
- •keep relaxed! If you’re tense, EVERYBODY gets tense….
Both of these roles play a major part in the exchange of ‘language’ between what is presented on the platform and then delivered to the congregation. However, to fully understand the roles that each of these play on the platform it is necessary to examine what each brings, and how the combination of these gifts creates a vehicle to declare the goodness and love of God to His people. The Music Director •The MD plays a pivotal role in performances, whether it be for choirs, orchestras, ensemble bands, worship bands etc. With simple hand movements, he sets the pace and keeps various sections on task to produce pleasing sounds. However, the MDs duties extend well beyond stage performance. He can also be a creative influence for both the musicians he directs, and the community at large. •To work in this position, the MD must have creative, management and public relations abilities. In the area of weekend church services, many of the musicians and singers will generally be volunteers, so a great deal of patience is required in order to build and strengthen the team, always building into them that it is not perfection that is required, but excellence! •In general terms, the success of a musical presentation / performance is determined by the direction given by the MD. In most cases for specific presentations, an MD will select musicians or singers to fill the required positions, and then works with the team to create a cohesive sound. The MD has to have a keen ear to isolate and correct performance issues, and the ability to provide first-hand instruction by playing an instrument or singing a note is particularly important. Since many different personalities will be part of the group the MD also must understand how to communicate effectively and to give constructive criticism. •The MD assists in the musical selections for the team to execute. Generally, this requires meeting with the Worship Leader, and sometimes gauging songs based on sermons or messages that may be presented to the church. An experience MD also can expand on a personal resume by crafting original compositions or researching particular songs for fresh interpretations of older works.
- •On an additional front, the MD serves as the face of the team. The distinction comes with the ability to speak publicly about various issues facing the music community, and encouraging youth participation and assisting in the development of the next generation of performers and Music Directors.
To try and actually provide an insight to this question, you probably should be asking yourself ‘what am I doing to bring the finest I can bring?’, and that’s a HUGE question!! Here is just one aspect of approaching this mammoth thought . . . and please know that I don’t profess to know it all, I am still a happy student in this symphony we call ‘life’. . . In speaking from personal experience, when I started playing piano at the tender age of 14, you couldn’t ply me away from those ivory keys (yes, the piano I practised on, and still sits in the front room of my mother’s house, has actual ebony and ivory – and THAT song by Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder hums in your head…..) – there was nothing I loved more than to sit there and play music penned by the greats from centuries earlier. To me, the piano brought conversation out of me that my spoken voice couldn’t – and although I didn’t come to know the true purpose of what music was designed for until later in my life, I sensed the connection that music played with the listener. Have you ever been to the movies and been so moved by a scene that for a moment it overwhelms you – the visual image, the dialogue, and the underscore of the moment all converging to give you goosebumps and connecting you to the circumstance that is set before you. Although in your mind you know that it is just a movie, the confluence of all the contributing factors draw a connection out of you. For me, one of these moments was when I went to see the film ‘Evita’, the version with Madonna in it – in one of the opening scenes, you see the funeral procession with tens of thousands lining the streets to pay respects, and the film score is so in your face that you can almost see the tears falling off the violin bows as they play their lament. It is this kind of imagery that sharpens your awareness as a musician, and makes you realise that you can affect peoples thoughts and even circumstance for a short period of time (sometimes longer….) Although technique, practice, application, composition and arrangement provide valuable insight into the mechanics of musicianship, it can be the amalgamation of these in the creative mindset of the musician that gives the spark of life which is so strongly sought after in today’s player. So, I say this – you can spend years HEARING music, but what makes a musician is the LISTENING – finding the tapestry of conversation that is going on beneath the surface of the song or piece. You can always find me on facebook and twitter – would love to hear from you. c